Thai Sweet Potato Soup

Coconut Sweet Potato SoupThis soup may look simple but it’s bursting with flavor! A coconut milk base with sweet potatoes and lots of spices makes for a delicious meal. This recipe makes about 4 larger sized bowls, but will easily double if you’d like to make a bigger pot.

Ingredients:
1 14 oz can of coconut milk
4 cups vegetable broth
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into small pieces
1 large shallot, sliced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger
1 tablespoon red curry paste
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
3 teaspoons fish sauce
1 large lime, juiced

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In a large pot bring the coconut milk and broth to a simmer and add the sweet potatoes, shallot, ginger, curry paste, and cilantro. Cook until the sweet potatoes are tender – about 20 minutes. When tender place into a blender and blend until smooth. This may take two rounds, be careful to not burn yourself. Place back into the pot. Add the fish sauce and lime juice. Cook for another 5 minutes, and serve hot. Enjoy!

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Quinoa and Spinach Salad with Fresh Berries

quinoasalad1I’ve been a bit burned out with the cold and dreary weather as of late – and I wanted something cheerful to pick me up and give me that warm summertime feeling. Plus, I’d been craving fresh berries for the past couple of weeks, so I caved in and bought some. Besides just snacking on them plain, and using for oatmeal and a few other things – I wanted to make a delicious salad.

quinoasalad2Ingredients:
5 oz fresh spinach, chopped
1 cup fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 cup fresh blueberries
3 clementines, peeled and sectioned
1.5 cups cooked quinoa
3-4 tablespoons crushed walnuts

for the dressing:
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
salt and pepper, to taste

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In a bowl mix together all of the salad ingredients. Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a smaller bowl and pour overtop the salad and toss until evenly coated. Makes 3-4 larger salads. Enjoy.

Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup

Tomato Basil Parmesan SoupWho doesn’t love a delicious creamy tomato soup? This soup has that wonderful tomato taste along with fresh basil and Parmesan cheese. Yummy! I was so excited to be back in the kitchen today – I’d had surgery on my hand last week and I’ve mostly been eating finger foods and simple meals. This filled me up and gave me a nutritious dinner – and it really hit the spot.

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Ingredients:
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 large celery stalks
5 large carrots
1/2 large white onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
28 oz fire roasted tomatoes, diced
4 cups vegetable stock, divided
2 cups milk
1 cup fresh Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup sweet rice flour

extra Parmesan cheese for garnish

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In a food processor place the carrots, celery, and onions and finely mince. (You can also finely chop by hand if you prefer.) Place into a large pot over medium heat with the olive oil and garlic  and allow to cook for about 5 minutes and let the vegetables soften. Add the cans of fire roasted tomatoes and their sauce, the fresh basil, and 3 of the 4 cups of the vegetable stock. Stir well.

In a smaller pot over medium heat melt the butter. Slowly add in the flour and whisk constantly for about 5 minutes. Add in that 1 cup of vegetable stock that was set aside, and combine well. Add this into the larger pot of soup and mix well. Now add in the milk. salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese and stir that in well. Allow to cook for another 20 minutes.

Feel free to top off with a bit more cheese and basil if you like. I really like basil so I sprinkled just a bit more on top of my bowl. Makes 6-8 servings. Enjoy!

Gluten Free Quick Cinnamon Bread

gluten free cinnamon bread   I love the way the smell of cinnamon in the oven warms the whole house. Its such a comforting smell, and once I start to smell this bread baking – I’m ready to sample the first piece! It only takes about 15 minutes to put it together and get it in the oven, and 40-45 minutes to bake. It’s a great snack!

cinnabread4Ingredients:
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2/3 cups brown rice flour
1/3 cup tapioca flour
1/3 cup sweet rice flour
1/4 cup almond flour
1/2 cup sugar (I typically use coconut sugar)
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 large egg whites
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

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Preheat the oven to 350F. Mix together the milk and lemon in a small bowl together and let sit for about 10 minutes while preparing the other ingredients.

Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl, and the wet ingredients in a smaller bowl, adding the milk and lemon mixture at the end and whisking together. Then add the bowl of liquid ingredients into the large bowl of dry ingredients, and combine well.

Lightly oil a 9×5 pan (or use parchment) and carefully pour the mixture into the pan. Place into the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes, until a toothpick placed into the middle comes out clean.

Enjoy!

*I’ve only made this with coconut sugar – however it’s perfectly interchangeable with regular sugar.

Asian Quinoa Salad

asian quinoa saladThis fresh and flavorful salad is one of my favorites. I love all the colors in it, it looks so inviting – and it’s very healthy and filling. It can work both as a side dish or a meal, I served this as a dinner for two with leftovers for lunch the next day.

Ingredients:
2 cups cooked quinoa
1 1/2 cups red cabbage, chopped
1 cup cucumber, diced
1 large bell pepper, diced
1 cup bean sprouts, chopped

Dressing:
3 tablespoons gluten free soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
sea salt, to taste

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Cook the quinoa to package directions and prepare the vegetables. Combine all in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients, then stir into the salad. Can be served while the quinoa is warm, or chilled. Enjoy!

Roasted Red Potatoes and Asparagus

Roasted potatoes and asparagusI made this dish to go along with a large salad for a vegetarian meal. I like to have a hot dish to go along with a cold salad in the winter, and since I wasn’t in the mood for soup, I went for roasted vegetables. Asparagus is also a favorite of mine and I like to look for different ways to serve it and keep it healthy. I roasted the potatoes for a bit on their own first so that the asparagus didn’t get overly soft, while waiting on the potatoes to soften.

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Ingredients:
1 pound asparagus, cut into 1″ pieces
1 pound red potatoes cut into bite sized pieces
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon worschiresauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
fresh ground pepper and sea salt, to taste

Preheat the oven to 375F. On a baking sheet spread out the potatoes and toss them in the olive oil with the garlic, salt and pepper. Place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven, flip the potatoes and stir in the asparagus and worschiresauce and return to the oven and roast for another 15 minutes. Serve hot.

Overnight Gluten Free Apple Cinnamon Oats

gluten free overnight oatsHappy New Years to everyone! I know with the new year that a lot of us are trying to make some changes in our lives, and often eating healthier is one of them. I wanted to share this recipe for a hearty and healthy breakfast that will fill your belly and tastes delicious. It takes about 5 minutes to put together the night before, I’ll prepare one of these sometimes while I have dinner in the oven when I have an early day at work the following day and I won’t have time to make a decent breakfast. I’ve taken them to work with me even to eat on my break.

oats2Ingredients:
1/4 cup old fashioned gluten free oats, uncooked
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup diced apple (I used gala, any variety works)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon chia seeds

Combine ingredients together in a container with a tight lid. Place in the fridge and allow to sit overnight – or about 8 hours. Open and enjoy for a quick and healthy breakfast! You can also change the fruit (I also like bananas with a bit of cocoa, mango, or blueberry!)

I wish all of you a safe and healthy 2015.

Pomegranate and Clementine Spinach Salad

clemspinachsaladThis is a great winter salad that is really simple to prepare. I love pomegranates and am always excited when they come back into season, they really add a lot to salads with their taste and texture. Clementines are also in abundance this time of the year and the two together taste great and really make a treat of a salad. I topped it off with a just a bit of vinaigrette dressing – with the clementine and pomegranate juice it doesn’t need a whole lot. I served this as a main course for two people for dinner, but would be great as a side dish or for lunch.

cleamspinachsalad2Ingredients:
6 cups loosely packed spinach or spring mix salad
2 clementines, peeled
1/2 cup (about 1/2) pomegranate arils
vinaigrette dressing, to taste

Mix the ingredients in a bowl and serve immediately. Enjoy!

Gluten Free Sugar Cut Out Cookies

gluten free sugar cookiesThese are my mom’s favorite cookies and I think she waits all year for them to be made.  We made them when I was a kid, and I always had fun frosting and decorating all the cookies. So for me to give her a different cookie, I knew it had to be good, really good. Her comment was that it was delicious, and slightly more buttery tasting. That’s more than alright with me.

Ingredients:
2 cups gluten free flour mix blend
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1 large egg
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar, then add the egg and vanilla and mix until combined. In a smaller bowl combine the flour mix with the baking powder, and sea salt. Slowly mix that that into the large bowl and beat on low until all the flour is combined.

Place a piece of plastic wrap over the dough and set in the refrigerator for 45 minutes – 1 hour. This will make the dough much easier to handle and prevent it from falling apart and cracking when you’re rolling it out and using the cookie cutters.

Preheat the oven to 350F

Sprinkle a bit of gluten free flour on your counter or another hard surface and roll out the dough. Since the dough isn’t going to rise too much, don’t go real thin. Cut out shapes of your choice.

Bake for 7-8 minutes. Allow to cool on the pan for a couple minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool. Allow to completely cool before using jams or gluten free frosting of your choice. Enjoy!

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